Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buzz Words For The Day....with a hint of added sarcasm.

1. Dow drops over 200 points on Tuesday on news of "PIGS" (also known as Portugal, Iceland, Greece and Spain). Turns out, they are all headed toward financial ruin.

Wednesday, Dow is revived. Looks like Germany may be stepping in to do some bailing out. Yikes! What about 60% of the German population who are openly opposed to bailing out Greece? Oh yeh, if Germany DOESN'T bail out Greece (as the top headline read today): "Bye Bye, Euro".....or in other words, they will go down the tubes right along with Greece. By the way, I am hunting for the money tree and will let you know when I find it. It must be quite an impressive tree to have the remarkable ability to fund all of these international bailouts.

2. San Francisco's mayor banned all official travel to Arizona. Yeh, re-read that one. It is true. And get this: city councils in Washington, DC and Los Angeles are considering the same thing. (Question: Can they really do that???) The new Immigration Legislation in Arizona is absolutely getting alot of attention, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. There are so many illegal immigrants in this country....ILLEGAL. Arizona is trying to find them and hold them accountable for breaking the law. It is no surprise to the illegal aliens that they are breaking the law; they know it. They are also aware there is a way for them to enter the USA LEGALLY, but some are willfully choosing not to take that route.

I am ALL FOR immigrants entering this country LEGALLY. In fact, we have very good friends who came over in a boat from Cuba.....they earned citizenship legally. The children who came over on that boat are now grown and have grown children of their own. From this family alone, there are two lawyers, one Chief Financial Officer, a president of a large community college, a business owner, a Doctor of Education, an elementary school teacher, a bank officer, and a financial planner. They are bilingual, and they have a work ethic that never ceases to amaze me. This family would be the first to encourage immigrants to come to this country, but to come the right way, and to sieze everything this incredible, one of a kind country has to offer to all who are willing to strive to reach his/her full potential.

In my opinion, the danger of amnesty is this: the majority of illegal aliens in this country earn income that is below the level requiring an income tax. In addition, with citizenship, many would qualify for government assistance.....Amnesty would basically add approximately TWELVE MILLION new citizens who would pay no taxes and qualify for government assistance. Tell me, oh wise politicians, how can we possibly afford this when we are already drowning in debt???

Anyone who opposes amnesty or Arizona's new legislation is called a racist. Startling. Texas is considering jumping on board with their own immigration legislation. I guess travel to Texas will be banned too. When did a person become a racist for wanting to uphold the constitution......wanting to uphold the law.....and NOT wanting to bankrupt our nation??? And do state's rights even exist anymore? If not, where is the amendment that took them away, because I haven't seen it.

3. We may be sewing an extra star on the American flag.....looks like the government is wooing Puerto Rico toward becoming an official state if HR 2499 passes tomorrow.

4. Goldman Sachs.....creating an investment instrument designed to fail, offering it (even pushing it) to unsuspecting buyers while betting against it themselves.....and calling it "Risk Management". Say it ain't so. While it appears to be perfectly legal, it just isn't right.

5. Gulf oil spill is releasing up to 5,000 barrels of oil into the ocean daily.....recent reports estimate the spill is currently 39 miles wide and 48 miles wide. What will this mean for wildlife, and how will it be used to impact the war that has been raging against oil use in our country?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meet Harold

I would like to introduce you to Harold. We moved into our house in 2006, and quickly realized Harold was part of the deal. His home is under our deck.
Each evening, at dusk, you can see Harold waddling along between houses to find his home. He slips between the bars of our fence and onto our deck to eat whatever is left of our dog, Trudy's, food. Sometimes we can actually hear him from inside the house slurping up Trudy's water (typical male--ha! ha!). After standing on his hind legs and licking his paws clean, Harold makes his way down the steps and through a small opening under our deck. He hides there until morning.
The kids and I have grown to love Harold. I know it sounds crazy, but we really do. Chappy continually warns us that he could have a number of diseases and could bite us if he feels provoked, but just look at his face. Are those eyes the eyes of a vicious attacker? I think not. Over the years the kids and I have successfully managed to keep Chappy from borrowing a "possum trap" and taking Harold from his only home. (smile)
Harold's life should be coming to a close soon. The Oppossum usually lives only 3-4 years. We'll miss him.
When I watch Harold and his nightly routine, especially enjoying when he takes care to lick his paws clean, I often wonder what God was thinking when He decided to create the Oppossum. Did you know the Oppossum is actually a wonderful little garbage disposal? He will eat all kinds of bugs and rodents that could potentially be very harmful to our family....sometimes eating snakes too. Harold is a one-man clean up crew!!!
Oppossums aren't aggressive, but I will admit, Harold has startled us on more than a few occasions. One evening, for instance, Chappy opened the back door to let Trudy out for a potty break and forgot about Harold. Trudy's food dish had been left right outside the door, so when the door swung open, Chappy's eyes met Harold's eyes which were less than 18 inches from where Chappy was standing. You guessed it.....Chappy jumped in the air and let out a scream scaring poor Harold away. I am still not certain who was scared more. Literally, the kids and I rolled on the floor with laughter for many many minutes (Chappy still doesn't think it is too funny. That evening the kids and I had to do a LOT of pleading, because big daddy was determined to go get a possum trap the very next day!)
You know, as believers, we are very much like Harold. We have been created for a specific purpose just as he was......our time on earth is limited.....and we are strangers trying to make this land our home. Harold has decided to make the dark hole beneath our deck his home while a forest kingdom could be his; in the same way, believers attempt to make this dark earth our home while the Kingdom of God, called glorious heaven, is close at hand. Predictably, we waddle through life in our routine rarely giving thought to our great purpose. We hope to be accepted and cared for all the days of our life, but we remain on guard just in case the acceptance doesn't come. When afraid, we run for cover too. And like Harold, someone greater than us is making sure our needs are being met each and every day.....that Someone is too often overlooked or not noticed.
Life is ironic. Our Father can be seen and known in most every circumstance of life if we only open our hearts to see. While the earth continually changes, some things remain the same. That's Wonderful God.
"Instead, they were longing for a better country----a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11:16

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hope Teaches Another Lesson

Where Can I Go From Your Spirit?
Where Can I Flee From Your Presence?
If I Say, "Surely The Darkness Will Hide Me...."

Even The Darkness Will Not Be Dark To You.....The Darkness Will Shine Like The Day.
For You Created My Inmost Being And Knit Me Together In My Mother's Womb.....Your Eyes Saw My Unformed Body.
Psalm 139 is one of my favorite verses:
A few weeks ago, I went to check on Hopey early in the morning. Instead of finding her asleep in her bed, I found her stuck inside a box of Huggie's diapers she had emptied all over the floor. The first picture shows Hope trying to hide herself from me; she knew what she had done was a bit mischievous and wanted to escape "the wrath of mom". Once she heard me laughing, however, the second picture shows her quite happy with herself and the trouble she had instigated.
No matter how Hope might try to hide from me, it is impossible. I love her too much and will pursue her to the ends of the earth if that is what it should ever take. In fact, I go to great trouble to watch over her at all times, even when she doesn't realize I am watching.....even when she thinks she is hiding from me.
If I love Hopey with a protective momma's heart, how much more must our Creator love us? Though at times we might feel like hiding from Him for a vast number of reasons, He is always looking on, always nearby, always ready to take our hand and help us out of the mess we have fallen into.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break!

We had a WONDERFUL spring break. I turned my computer and cell phone off and enjoyed time with Chappy and the kiddos. It is amazing how much can happen in only 8 days:
1. We rode bikes a total of 150 miles (and are still feeling every "bump" on our behinds)
2. We ate fresh grouper or snapper each day (although Hope and Charlie ate more sand than anything else)
3. We saw an outdoor movie together in Seaside and an outdoor concert in Alys Beach----both evenings offered great shows; however the greater show was the nearly billion stars shining in the night sky over the ocean.
4. Caleb met Bobby Bowden (Florida State legend) and still dreams of being quarterback at FSU in the year 2014.
5. We spent a few days with GiGi and Poppy (my parents) and enjoyed catching up with some good friends who (unbeknownst to us) happened to be vacationing only 150 yards from us.
6. We doctored sunburns and "prickly bur" injuries each and every day. Our dog, Trudy, managed to get those burs in very interesting parts of her body that made emergency surgeries a regular event.
7. We agonized with Butler over their near defeat of Duke during the NCAA championship and celebrated Phil's third Master's tournament victory dedicated to his wife Amy who is battling (and beating) breast cancer.
8. Hope started saying "MaMa".....I mean REALLY saying it. My dream come true! I have waited 4 years and 7 months to hear her say "MaMa". It has been well worth the wait. Rejoicing doesn't even come close----I'd be doing backflips if I could do them. I am beginning to believe our little girl is actually going to be speaking soon!!!